In an interview with Deutsche Welle this month, “Homeland” star Mandy Patinkin passionately defended Muslim refugees attempting to enter Europe and the United States, calling them “gorgeous” and “beautiful” people who pose no danger and provide “gifts to our society.”
“If there’s anything needed, more than anything in the world,” the actor said, “it’s … solidarity with each other and empathy for these human beings.”
“They are not terrorists, they are human beings,” he continued. “Gorgeous families, young men who are trying to be educated and play cricket on their street without being attacked, killed, or murdered for not following … beliefs that ISIS wants them to follow.”
Sharing an anecdote regarding a refugee family in Berlin, Patinkin said that family provides “gifts to our society.”
He asserted that “everyone is driven by fear all over the world,” but “in the case of these families and these refugees, 99.999 percent of the time the fear is unwarranted.” Patinkin said that “you can vet these people,” and called the United States’ vetting process a “gold-star system.”
“There are 17 security systems in the United States alone, there are innumerable systems in Europe,” he added later. “The vetting is ongoing throughout the lives of these people … and so fear is a poison.”
FBI Director James Comey, however, has warned that there is “no basis” on which to vet many Syrian refugees, as there is simply no information available about them.
“You can only query what you’ve collected,” Comey told the House Homeland Security Committee in 2015.
NATO commander General Philip Breedlove told Congress last year that the Islamic State is “spreading like a cancer” among refugees. Following revelations that some of the terrorists who committed the attacks in Paris in November 2015 entered Europe via migration routes, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve acknowledged that it is “virtually impossible” to identify potential terrorists among refugee groups.
Terror attacks and statements from security officials do not foster fear of refugees, Patinkin insists. Instead, he believes that the fear “comes from the people who want to get elected to public office.”
“If I tell you ‘you need to be afraid and if you elect me I will make sure that you are safe,’ then you believe in that fear that I plant at your doorstep and you vote for me,” said Patinkin.
“And this is made-up untruths. You don’t need to be afraid.”
Earlier this month, Fox News reported that of roughly 1,000 domestic terrorism cases the FBI is currently investigating, 300 involve people admitted to the United States as refugees.